Press Statement:

17 April 2024 

“Short sighted” proposal to cut Oranga Tamariki staff puts wellbeing of children in care at risk.

The news today of 447 proposed job cuts at Oranga Tamariki has left those who work closely with care experienced tamariki deeply concerned.

VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai has been advocating for care experienced Kiwi since 2017, and CEO Tracie Shipton says the drastic move will severely impact the department’s ability to serve our young people.

“We need to be concerned about how this will affect children and young people, and how this will impact Oranga Tamariki’s ability to hear feedback from the care community, to make longer term changes and improvements.”

Under the proposal 632 positions are being disestablished, with 185 new positions being created – a net reduction of 447 roles.

“We feel for the people who have lost their jobs – this work is not for the faint hearted and it is not easy to recruit to. I hope we have retained enough institutional intelligence within Oranga Tamariki to make the pathway for young people accessible.”

Of the 632 roles 24% are managerial roles, 34% advisory roles, 29% from the enabling services function.

“These job cuts affect advisory and enabling teams which are critical for amplifying the voices of young people in care within the system, and that will have a measured impact on those already in care, and will undoubtedly have a lasting and long term impact on those who need care in the future. We all understand that realistically, some cuts need to be made but slicing right through the middle weakens an already fragile structure further.”

Shipton says the cuts are knee-jerk, and greater consideration and care should’ve been taken.

“The change proposals have been developed at pace, and we are concerned about whether consultation with the care community has occurred and been taken into account.”

VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai is urging for a tangible commitment to ensure the organisation continues to honour our agreement to prioritise the amplification of care experienced voices in the system.

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